TONG SANG ORGANIZES PAPEETE POLITICAL PROTEST

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Thousands march against Flosse coalition

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 2, 2008) – Nearly 9,000 people have taken part in a march in the French Polynesian capital, Papeete, showing their opposition to the deals which led to the election of the Tahoeraa Huiratiraa’s Gaston Flosse as the president for a five-year term.

The rally, the biggest political protest in years, was organised by the

To Tatou Aia coalition, led by Gaston Tong Sang, which emerged as the largest group in the early assembly election called by Paris in a bid to increase political stability.

The French-backed To Tatou Aia coalition failed to form the government after the Tahoeraa leaders struck a coalition deal with the

pro-independence Union For Democracy which has been denounced by the French government as being an alliance against nature.

A To Tatou Aia leader, Jean-Christophe Bouissou, says after the municipal elections in two weeks, there may be an effort to dislodge the government set up at the end of last week.

Reports from Tahiti now say the French supreme court won’t rule for another two months on whether the process that was used for Mr Flosse’s election was in line with all the rules.

A decision had been expected within three days of the complaint being laid.

Uncertainty about the political leadership also stems from a fraud probe relating to an atoll purchase in 2002 which requires Mr Tong Sang and Mr Flosse as well as the vice president, Edouard Fritch, to testify.

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